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  #41  
Old 05-13-2006, 06:41 PM
Theo Theo is offline
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Default Bass Drum Head Tuning - A Serious Predicament

Hey...i would like to share with you something that has been playing on my mind for a long time.

For the record i own a Sonor 20x17.5 Birch Bass Drum.

I have been checking the forum for bass drum tuning threads and i have found that a lot of people really dig the batter side tuned really low just until the wrinkles go.

On my kit which i just got...i have tuned both the batter and reso head extremely tight...as tight as i could...I found that this gives the bass drum a really REALLY good BOOM! No pillow and no hole in the front. I have never recorded this kind of setup though and i am wondering if it would sound like crap.

I am thinking of detuning the batter head completely just so the wrinkles go...and leaving the reso extremely tight the way i have it now, and adding a pillow inside the bass drum so the edges touch both heads. Do you think this would be a good idea? I keep thinking i must be missing something since everyone detunes their batter head so much.

Also...do you have any other ideas how i could create a good BOOM sound suitable for funk, r&b, really tight pocket kind of stuff? Keep in mind i have no hole in my reso.

Thanks.
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  #42  
Old 05-13-2006, 07:29 PM
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Default Re: Bass Drum Head Tuning - A Serious Predicament

What kind of heads are you using? I like the Aquarian Superkick series batter heads. No need for anything in the drum for muffling, the head just booms.

I guess the real question is why do you want to tune your head lower if it sounds good the way you have it. If what you have tuned is working for you it doesn't really matter how everyone else does it. Keep in mind everyones taste for sound is totally different and so are their kits. If you tune the batter down and leave the reso tight you'll probably not get the depth and punch you are looking for, I would keep them both in the same tuning range. The reso a little tighter is one thing but if you have it cranked up tight it will probably ring alot and not give you that short fast punch.

I wouldn't say people detune their heads, they actually tune them to that wrinkle free point originally.
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  #43  
Old 05-13-2006, 08:08 PM
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Default Re: Bass Drum Head Tuning - A Serious Predicament

I know how you feel Theo. I had the same problem.

What I did was I got a Remo Powerstroke 3 w/ the falam patch on it and tuned it relativley low. Then, I tuned the reso head about medium loose and muffled about 30% of the bottom portion of both heads. When I first tried it I got an incredible punch for it and I havent touched the tuning since! Hope this helps!
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  #44  
Old 05-13-2006, 09:01 PM
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Default Re: Bass Drum Head Tuning - A Serious Predicament

I find that, unmic'd, the higher tuning sounds better, giving good projection and a fuller sound. In mic'd situations I like the lower note that a looser head produces (and the mic provides the roundness and punch). I never tune mine quite so low it wrinkles, though. I like to hear a defined, clean tone.

The reso tighter than the batter can work very well, though you may have to work to find the optimum relationship between the pitches of the two heads. Have fun!
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  #45  
Old 05-17-2006, 09:59 PM
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Default Re: Bass Drum Head Tuning - A Serious Predicament

Quote:
Originally Posted by Theo
8< snip snp snip >8
Also...do you have any other ideas how i could create a good BOOM sound suitable for funk, r&b, really tight pocket kind of stuff? Keep in mind i have no hole in my reso.

Thanks.
Hey Theo.

In a mic'ed situation, mic placement can make a pretty big difference in your bass drum's sound. Try everything you can think of, mic inside, outside, near the batter, further away from the batter, one mic inside, and another outside, etc.

I have no hole in my reso, and I have the heads tuned really low (just past finger-tight) with a small pillow inside barely touching both heads. My mic is inside the bass drum about 12" from the batter head pointed, more or less, at where the beater hits. I get a nice punchy sound (a little like Neil Peart's bass drum sound), although I'd like to up the attack a little...

-Michael
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  #46  
Old 05-22-2006, 05:08 PM
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Default Bass Tuning Perspective

Just thought I'd share a little story with you guys. I've been playing drums for thirty eight years and think I have a pretty good handle on how to make my drums sound good. This weekend I was playing a gig and as we were setting up the guy who runs sound asked to hear my bass drum. He was standing right in front of me, no mikes on yet and in fact my set wasn't even completely set up. I hit the bass a couple times and he immediately said "oh that's going to be way too boomy, can you muffle it or shove a blanket in it?" I told him I would take care of the "boominess" and that he would love the sound. I DID NOTHING. I just finished setting up the drums placed the mikes and then told him to go out front and give a listen. Once he was out away from the stage I hit the bass drum and he immediately smiled. "Wow that's perfect, what did you do?" I just told him it was a little drummers trick with some extra tweaking. The point of this story is to not necessarily accept that the sound that is heard is the same as when you are sitting behind or standing directly in front of the drums. If the sound guy had told me it was still too boomy I was prepared to do a little actual tweaking but experience has taught me to trust my ears and know that things have a way of sounding different depending on perspective.
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  #47  
Old 05-22-2006, 06:41 PM
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Default Re: Bass Tuning Perspective

You are right Pete, the same thing happened to me ! You pointed a real problem playing live gigs : sound engineers dictatorship !!! (more often with drummers !) Would this guy ask a Stradivarius player to fill his violin with foam because it sounds better to his ears???
My drums sound the way I want it to sound, and I never let a sound guy tell me how they should !
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  #48  
Old 05-22-2006, 09:03 PM
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Default Re: Bass Tuning Perspective

Yeah Catlover, those Strads just have too much sustain! Once you've learned how to get good sounds from your instruments trust your ears guys. Sound techs are supposed to help you sound good, not the other way around. Of course this all assumes that you, in fact, can get your drums to sound good to begin with. Drums produce lots of overtones and frequencies that techies hate dealing with. Good tuning and proper mike placement will take care of most sound issues.
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  #49  
Old 06-07-2006, 06:55 PM
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Default how do you tune your bass drum

wasnt sure wut forum to put this in, so i put it in this one.

how do you have your bass drum tuned? loose, tight? do u stick a blanket or a pillow inside of it? do you have a hole cut in the skin?

thoughts, opinions, ideas, all are welcome =)
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  #50  
Old 06-07-2006, 07:19 PM
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Default Re: tuning bass drum

Try the search button for bass drum tuning and/or bass/kick drum heads, as well as looking at the thread "cutting a hole in the bass drum". There should be enough info in all of those posts to get the answer you're looking for.
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  #51  
Old 06-09-2006, 06:42 PM
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Default Re: tuning bass drum

almost forgot about this thread...

actually it the general idea of this thread wasnt on me getting tips on tuning drums, it was just how people tune their own drums... personal preferences.. a general discussion, not giving someone advice on tuning.
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  #52  
Old 06-09-2006, 07:09 PM
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Default Re: tuning bass drum

I have my bass drum tuned pretty tight for a jazzy boomy sound, havn`t got holes or something like a carpet in it. I have a 22x18" bass drum.

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  #53  
Old 06-09-2006, 07:10 PM
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Default Re: tuning bass drum

I tune mine a bit loose.I don't have a hole in it.I have 2 blankets in it,a big one and a smaller one.
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  #54  
Old 06-09-2006, 07:11 PM
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Default Re: tuning bass drum

i have a 20x16 bass drum. nothing inside it, no hole, tuned so low you can almost see the wrinkles on the skins.
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  #55  
Old 06-09-2006, 08:17 PM
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Default Re: Poll: how do you tune your bass drum

My 20x14 has a P3 clear batter and an ebony P3 reso. No port and wide open (no laundry inside). Nice tight sound. My 26x14 has a P3 clear batter and an ebony Ambassador reso. with a HOLZ port. It too is wide open. Total rock boomer, just like it was made to be. My 28x14 has the same head set up as the 26, but a small block of foam glued to the shell that touches the batter head for a little more sound control. Super boomer.
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  #56  
Old 06-19-2006, 04:44 AM
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Default How to tune a bass drum

I play an 18"x22" Tama Rockstar Custom bass drum.
Although i've tuned it with a Drumdial, it doesnt seem to cut it for me.
Im looking for a better sound, somthing like Thomas Langs bass drum off Creative Control.


If anyone can help me, that would be great.
-Thanks
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  #57  
Old 06-19-2006, 04:51 AM
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Default Re: How to tune a bass drum

i found the drum dial tunes drums a little higher than i want so maybe you need to take it down alittle. plus i don't think you'll be able to get thomas sound that easily, i think he has a rather large bassdrum but i'm not sure.
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  #58  
Old 06-19-2006, 04:53 AM
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Default Re: How to tune a bass drum

Just experiment until you find that sound your after. Find out what heads he uses (head selection makes a big,big difference in sound) as well as if he ports the front head or not (that can make a big difference). Also, since you have the drumdial (i have one also, amazing) experiment with different tensions. Your never going to sound exactly like him (especially since your using completely different drum sets) but you should be able to get what your looking for.

Hope that helps
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  #59  
Old 06-19-2006, 07:59 AM
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Default Re: How to tune a bass drum

Once you make a drum head selection, you'll probably have to compromise the Thomas Lang sound a bit. Work more with making the Rockstar sound as good as it can.
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  #60  
Old 07-18-2006, 01:57 PM
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Default Tuningup me bass drums

hey, i just bouhgt a m series kit. im trying hard to tune the bass, gee its so hard to get the sound i wanted.. i want a deep bassy sound from it. it had the original heads, which is a remo 1 ply muffed on both sides. then i took off my powerstroke 3 from the old drums n put it on... cant get the deep sound.

so my question is, can someone help me how to tune it up? i followed the steps in the tuning bible, but cat get there... how should i tune it?

oh and how much pillow stuff to put IN it?

Last edited by atomicsoy; 07-19-2006 at 03:48 AM.
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  #61  
Old 07-18-2006, 04:15 PM
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Default Re: Tuningup me bass drums

For me, bass drums are completely different than tuning toms.

I've always had the best success with tuning the front bass drum as low as it goes then up a turn or two on each lugh. Then I tune the batter head as slack as it goes before it wrinkles and becomes dead. That gives the lowest fundamental pitch without sounding like cardboard, and without booming and boinging and needing muffling.

I use Emad coated and EQ3 coated heads.

Stu
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  #62  
Old 07-19-2006, 03:51 AM
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Default Re: THE BASS DRUM TUNING THREAD

so muffing (putting pilow and stuff inside) is not neccesary? does the resonant side realy affects the sound?
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  #63  
Old 07-26-2006, 07:24 PM
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Default Bass Drum Tuning

This is my first post.There was a drummer who was not happy with his Bass drum sound, he was using an Emad batter head on a 22". There were a few responses and they were all correct.
A)Tightning often improves over loosening
B) I like tune the bass to an E as well, it works.
C) You really need to match the Emad head with it's resonet Partner
D) Your pedal could be the problem, not the tuning.
and finally, don't fuss too much, I have many times in the past and it has often turned out that I made the wrong tuning decision, once that bass player kicks in much of what you thought was bothering you dissappears.
These are things I have picked up from other drummers and salespeople over the years but I never got the advice all at once. This a great site and look forward to reading the various post's
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  #64  
Old 07-30-2006, 12:59 AM
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Default Re: THE BASS DRUM TUNING THREAD

Howdya remove impact badges
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  #65  
Old 12-28-2006, 05:35 AM
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Default Tuning my Kick Drum

Hey guys so i just picked up a PDP LX 6 piece. I have no complaints about it besides the kick drum. I put the small PDP pillow in it, that didnt work. Then i put foam about an inch think all the way around the inside of the drum.

Is there anything you guys to to keep the ringing down. Any tunning ideas i might be doing wrong?
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  #66  
Old 12-28-2006, 05:43 AM
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Default Re: Tuning my Kick Drum

Get new pre-muffled bass drum heads. On the PDP I recommend the Evans EMAD or an Evans EQ3 (or 4 I can't remember which). Until then I would put a regular bead pillow in it although that will probably be too much muffling. The supplied pillow with the stock heads didn't do much when I first got the PDP set either.
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  #67  
Old 12-28-2006, 06:45 AM
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Default Re: Tuning my Kick Drum

I orgot to mention i have the EMAD2 With the bigger of the 2 muffling rings on
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  #68  
Old 12-28-2006, 06:52 AM
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Default Re: Tuning my Kick Drum

Well i own a pacific and i had to tune the bass drum tighter (with the stock head) on both sides to get a decent sound. I only used the pillow they gave me and i got a sound that i could live with.
Now my uncle got me a Remo Ambassador bass head. Im not totally satisfied but it will do. I tuned both sides real low and got a sound similar to bonhams bass sound in When the levee breaks. I like the sound but its not something that i will keep permanantly.
Just my 2 cents
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  #69  
Old 12-30-2006, 11:00 AM
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Default Re: Tuning my Kick Drum

If you want to stop ring completely with new heads you want an Evans EQ3 with one or even two EQ pads on the batter. For resonant head go with a head like an EQ3 that has a hole in it or for even less resonance a Retro Screen. To keep your EMAD 2 and get the sound you want get one or two EQ pads. For more attack get AF Patches.
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  #70  
Old 04-03-2007, 05:09 PM
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Default BASS DRUM TUNING

well i just got the accent bonham set from ludwig and im kind of dis pleased i put remo heads on the toms and i just cant get a good sound out of them, or maybe im just not very good at tuning, do u guys ahve any tips for tuning or some answers to my problems? thanks, also i would like to know how you guys tune your bass drums i was having some problem with that too
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  #71  
Old 04-03-2007, 09:59 PM
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Default Re: TUNING LUDWIG

What Remo heads and what sound do you want.
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  #72  
Old 04-03-2007, 11:22 PM
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Default Re: TUNING LUDWIG

i got remo emperors on all of them, and i love the bonham sound so im trying to get that sound, i got a good sound out of my supra phonic snare but im having some trouble with the other ones
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  #73  
Old 04-03-2007, 11:41 PM
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Default Re: TUNING LUDWIG

You need to understand that Bonham's sound - almost any drummer's sound - has more to do with how the drums were mic'd, ambience, compression, and eq. You can't expect an acoustic kit to sound that way by itself.

But there's no reason the drums can't sound great, and the Accent kits I've played sound quite nice. But the drum sounds you hear on most recordings are processed to various extents, and those drums rarely sound that way in person.

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  #74  
Old 04-03-2007, 11:47 PM
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Default Re: TUNING LUDWIG

Check out the Jeff Ocheltree video "Trust Your Ears". He was John Bonham's drum tech. and in the DVD he runs thru the whole "how to tune like J.B." . Also remember, he wasn't playing a Ludwig Accent kit either. http://www.answers.com/topic/john-bonham You should be able to get "in the "ballpark" close, but close is as good as it's gonna get. Emperors over Ambassadors is certainly a fine place to start. I drive a Ludwig 26x14 6 ply kick and I run a clear Powerstroke3 batter and a ebony Ambassador with HOLZ port reso.
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  #75  
Old 04-03-2007, 11:53 PM
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Default Re: TUNING LUDWIG

What heads are on your kick?
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  #76  
Old 04-04-2007, 05:15 AM
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Default Re: TUNING LUDWIG

What I do with my kit is I have Coated Evans G2's on the batter side, same head as the Coated Emperors. I have Coated Ambassadors on the bottom, a Coated Emperor on the batter side of the bass drum and a Medium weight smooth white Ludwig script head on the reso side. I personally would stay away from Power stoke heads or any head with a pre muffling system for the bass drum. The 14"x26" bass drum sounds so much better with just felt strips, very Bonham sounding.
The same priciple will apply to all of the drums, tune the resonant side way up and the batter side at about a medium tension. On the bass drum keep the front head solid and put a felt strip vertically on the right or left side your preference. On the batter side I put the felt strip along the bottom about 4" from where the beater strikes the head. Tune the front side way up, it's about 85 on a drum dial. The batter side about 78-80 on a drum dial. Same goes for the toms 85 on reso side 78-80 on the batter side. This gives me a very powerful boomy Bonzo type of sound out of my drums. On the snare same priciple, snare head way up and the batter side about medium or a little higher. Make sure your snares are not choked, you want a very "snarey" sound so you don't lose sensitivity. Good Luck, I hope this works for you. I love the sound that I am getting from my drums. Remember for the bass drum you have to tune it a lot higher then what you would think because of the size of the drum, you are moving a lot of air so you can't tune it loose like a smaller bass drum it just sounds like a wet paper bag if you do.
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  #77  
Old 04-04-2007, 05:32 AM
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Default Re: TUNING LUDWIG

I also want to mention that tuning your bass drum with a more open tuning will take some time to get used to. It is a completely different feel then a bass drum that is really muffled with a port hole. You need to let the beater graze the head to get the full sound of the drum, you can also dig in the beater which results in a powerful boom. The great thing about playing a large drum like this is you can achieve many different tones out of one drum, it's been a lot of fun experimenting with different sounds.
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  #78  
Old 04-04-2007, 06:45 AM
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Default Re: TUNING LUDWIG

hey thanks for all the advice i wish i could try that right now but im currently waiting for some replacement lugs for my bass and my rack tom, but one more thing. 85 for a reso seems awfully high i mean it says on the tuning chart for it to be at around 75 for a tom and around 80 for a bass, it also gets really hard to tighten at that high maybe because i have only 6 lugs on my tom but i donno, but i just dont want to tear one of the heads again that just adds another pain, o yea these felt strips do u jus but it like between the head and the rim? and do u buy specific felt or just whatever, thanks man this is a big help

Last edited by Ludface; 04-04-2007 at 06:56 AM.
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  #79  
Old 04-06-2007, 07:03 AM
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Default Re: TUNING LUDWIG

You can try to find felt strips at a music store but I have found that they don't have felt strips that would fit a 26" bass drum unless you special order them. The second option which I did is go to any fabric sewing center and buy heavy duty white felt. They will cut the felt to the sizes that you need. I would buy a yard of felt and have them cut two pieces 26" long and about 4" wide. Take the head off of the bass drum and rest the felt strip on the bearing edge of the drum. Then put the head over the felt strip and finger tighten the tension rods enough so the it holds the felt strip in place. While the tension rods are still loose adjust the felt strip where you want it. Then crank down the tension rods and tune the drum.
Then you cut the excess felt about an inch and a half from the hoop of the drum head. I hope this works out for you.
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Last edited by pcmckay; 04-06-2007 at 07:24 AM.
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  #80  
Old 04-06-2007, 07:22 AM
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Default Re: TUNING LUDWIG

My rack tom is a 10"x14" which has eight lugs. On the Jeff Ochletree video he talks about how Bonzo's bottom head on his rack tom sounded like a "snare drum being tuned" it was so high pitched. I have the same size rack tom as he did on his green sparkle kit. Is your tom a 10"x14" ? If it is smaller it may not sound right because this tuning method is for oversized drums. If it doesn't have the same amount of lugs maybe it can't be tuned that high. I would try to get it as close as possible without damaging the drum. Go to the Bonham page on this web site and they have the Ochletree video clip about Bonham's tuning method.
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